How the Baltimore Orioles can win the AL East in 2023
4. The Bullpen Dominance Continues
It is no secret: the Orioles 2022 bullpen was outstanding, and largely responsible for the team's surprising turnaround. All of the main pieces, including Felix Bautista, Cionel Perez, Dillon Tate, Brian Baker and Keegan Akin are returning, while former closer Mychal Givens begins his second tour of duty in Charm City. Although he has been slowed by injury in spring training, Bautista enters 2023 as the team's undisputed closer after saving 15 games and posting a 2.19 ERA in 2022. The Orioles need Bautista to do his best Zack Britton impression in 2023: low ninth inning ERA, low ninth inning stress. And if the Orioles want to not only make the playoffs, but win the division, a lot of that will be up to Bautista and Co. continuing to dominate late innings.
5. Solid, Steady, Seasons from the Regulars
Aside from adding Adam Frazier, the Orioles are returning most of their incumbent position players from 2022. The outfield of Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander remains the same. Ryan Mountcastle, Jorge Mateo, and Ramon Urias are returning. For Hays and Mullins, above average defense and OPSes around .800 will work. For Santander, another 30 home run season and consistent run-producing in the middle of the order will help. For Mountcastle, a few more walks and a little more consistency, combined with his light tower power, could produce his first OPS over .800 in the majors. And if Mateo and Urias continue providing stellar defense with acceptable offense (more Urias than Mateo), then the offense could lead this team to that dream scenario.